Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Kidney breathing and other things your body is not supposed to do

For those of you who may not know, I've started doing yoga again. I was really into it for a while in high school, but then I just let it fall by the wayside. It wasn't really a priority, but every so often I would do a few sun salutations or something like that. At school last year and the year before I tried unsuccessfully to join the yoga club. Well, I joined, I just never went. The practices were always on an inconvenient night, I had work to do, I was tired, etc. I think I was trying to find excuses so that I wouldn't have to go and accept responsibility for the fact that this is something I should be doing for my body. Let me just tell you, I feel GREAT. I've practiced it nearly every day for the last two weeks, sometimes twice a day, and I feel amazing. Granted, I have loads of free time so it's much easier for me to do things for myself than it is for all you people who have annoying things like jobs or real classes or families that get in the way of your free time. And I am very grateful that I can take this semester and use it to do good things for myself, like get out and explore Paris, work on my scrapbooking, do yoga, etc. I'm just amazed at the amount of energy I have now. If you know me, you know that I HATE to work out. I have this fear-bordering-on-phobia of people seeing me working out. That's why yoga is so fantastic! I don't go to a class, I just do it in my room every morning and most evenings. Granted I have gone to a few classes so I know about proper alignment and I know that I'm not going to hurt myself doing it, so if you want to start I might recommend actually going to a class before jumping into it alone.

There is this way cool CD, however, that is now on my list of items that I would have to have if I were stranded on a desert island. It's called "Yoga Sanctuary" and you can find it here. You could also buy it as an audiobook on iTunes. That's what I did, because the copy that I actually own didn't make the Paris cut. I wouldn't really recommend buying the audiobook if you've never done this before, because the real version comes with a big double-sided poster that illustrates every single pose and gives you a much better idea of what you're doing.

I'm really quite proud of myself for sticking with this for so long (yes, two weeks is a long time for me). Usually when I try to make a commitment to some kind of exercise/fitness goal, I keep at it for maybe 3 days. My goals are not quite as lofty as Shiva Rea's (the instructor on the CD), I have to admit. She wants me to breathe into my kidneys, my feet, my shoulders, pretty much everywhere except my lungs. At one point, she even instructs me to "move the left kidney into the body." I sincerely hope that isn't necessary...if you're practicing yoga in lieu of seeing a surgeon because your kidney has found its way outside of your body, it may be time to seek help. Anyway, that's what Shiva Rea wants me to do. Kidney breathing and other super exciting stuff like touching my heels to the floor in Downward Dog. My goals, however, run a little more on the...hmm...superficial side. Kidney breathing or killer shoulders? Relocating my inner organs or being able to do as many pushups as my boyfriend? Hmm, which is more important to me right now. I wonder, wonder, wonder. But the important thing is I'm taking better care of myself, even if I'm doing it for reasons that Ms. Rea might not agree with.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find any other organs that might've popped loose after this morning's practice.


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